Hoax emergency call brings police to gamer's home to investigate murder

LOCUST, North Carolina -- A gamer thought his life was over Monday night.

"I thought I was going to die."

According to WSOC, Ernest Morton, of Stanly County, was playing a video game and streaming live on YouTube on Monday when he received a phone call from police.

Multiple law enforcement agencies were outside his home with guns drawn.

Officers said they'd received an anonymous phone call saying that Morton had killed his wife and was preparing to do the same to his children.

That call was a hoax. It's a prank called swatting, where a caller makes a fake report to law enforcement, which gets officers to respond with force.

Back at his home, Morton talked to police on the phone.

"I've got my phone in my hand, so nobody shoot me," Morton said before he walked out his front door.

Thankfully for Morton, the situation ended without any further trouble. But according to WSOC, other cases of swatting have resulted in injuries and even deaths.

Responding to swatting calls uses up valuable law enforcement resources that could otherwise be used to improve public safety.

Morton said he thinks people who make those swatting calls should be punished.

"They should go to jail, just (as if) they pulled the trigger themselves," Morton said.
Copyright © 2021 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.